Effect of soy isoflavones on acne vulgaris


  • Puguh Riyanto
  • Prasetyowati Subchan


Acne vulgaris, soy isoflavones


Objective To demonstrate the effect of soy isoflavones on acne vulgaris (AV) lesions in female patients.Methods In this randomized pretest-posttest control group design, 25 patients were randomized into 5 groups: isoflavones 40 mg, 80 mg, 120 mg, 160 mg and placebo, and treated for 4 weeks.Results The mean total AV lesions before treatment among the five groups was similar (p=0.259), whereas after treatment significant difference was observed (p=0.001). Intergroup comparison revealed that decrease in the mean total AV lesion count before and after treatment was significant in isoflavone 160 mg group (p<0.05 ), while in the placebo, 40 mg, 80 mg, 120 mg groups it was insignificant (p>0.05 ).Conclusion Soy isoflavones supplementation 160 mg/day can lower total AV lesion.


Zanglein AL, Graber AM, Thiboutot DM, Strauss JS. Acne vulgaris and acneiform eruptions. In: Freedberg IM, Eisen AZ, Wolff K, editors. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th edn. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. P. 897- 917.

Collier CN, Harper JC, Cantrell WC et al. The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older. J Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2008;58:56-9.

Azimi H, Fallah-Tafti M, Khakshur AA, Abdollahi M. A review of phototherapy of acne vulgaris: perspective of new pharmacological treatments. Fitoterapia. 2012;83:1-5.

Thiboutot D, Chen WC. Update and future of hormonal therapy in acne. In: Zouboulis CC, Herane MI, Thiboutot D, editors. Acne Symposium at the World Congress of Dermatology. Basel: S Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers; 2003. P. 57-67.

Junkins-Hopkins JM. Hormone therapy for acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010;62:486- 8.

Cappel M, Mauger D, Thiboutot D. Correlation between serum levels of insulin-like growth factor I, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and dihydrotestosterone and acne lesion counts in adult women. Arch Dermatol. 2005;141:333-8.

Mackinnon ES, Rao LG. Soyabean as a special functional food formula for improving women’s health. In: Shi J, Ho CT, Shahidi F, editors. Functional Food of the East. USA: CRC Press; 2012. P. 280- 91.

Demmig-Adams B, McCauley L. Breast cancer, estrogen, soy genistein, and other dietary factors: Towards an understanding of their mechanistic interactions. Nutr Food Sci. 2011;35:35-42.

Basaria S. Effect of high-dose isoflavones on cognition, quality of life, androgens, and lipoprotein in post-menopausal women. J Endocrinol Invest. 2009;32:150- 5.

Dillingham BL, McVeigh BL, Lampe JW, Duncan AM. Soy protein isolate of varying isoflavone content exert minor effects on serum reproductive hormones in healthy young men. J Nutr. 2010;135:584- 91.

Legg RL, Tolman JR, Lovinger CT et al. Diet high in selenium and isoflavones decrease androgen-regulated gene expression in healthy rat dorsolateral prostate. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2008;6:57.

Pilsakova L, Riecansky I, Jagla F. The physiological action of isoflavone phytoestrogens. Physiol Res 2010;59:651- 64.

Setchell KD, Clerici C. Equol: pharmacokinetics and biological actions. J Nutr 2010;140:1363S-8S.

Steinberg FM, Murray MJ, Lewis RD et al. Clinical outcomes of a 2-y soy isoflavone supplementation in menopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93:356-67.

Henkel V, Moehrenschlager M, Hegerl U et al. Screening for depression in adult acne vulgaris patients. Tools for dermatologist. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2002;1:202-7.

Ehrmann DA. Hirsutism and virilization. In: Jameson, JL, editor. Harrison’s Endocrinology. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2006. P. 235

Gopal MG, Farahana B, Pramesh R. Effectiveness of herbal medications in the treatment of acne vulgaris – A pilot study. Indian Practitioner. 2001:54:723.

Gardner-Thorpe D1, O'Hagen C, Young I, Lewis SJ. Young and Lewis LS. Dietary supplements of soya flour lower serum testosterone concentrations and improve markers of oxidative stress in men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003:57:100-6.




How to Cite

Riyanto P, Subchan P. Effect of soy isoflavones on acne vulgaris. J Pak Assoc Dermatol [Internet]. 2016Nov.22 [cited 2024May19];25(1):30-4. Available from: https://www.jpad.com.pk/index.php/jpad/article/view/126



Original Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)